Get to know your neighbour with COPE and Macra

COPE Galway say 70 per cent of people have never been in neighbours’ houses at the Galway launch of Macra Na Feirme ‘Know your Neighbour’ campaign

A recent survey carried out by COPE Galway on its website, www.copegalway.ie, has show that 70 per cent of people surveyed had never or rarely been in their neighbours house. COPE Galway announced the results of the survey at the Galway Launch of Macra Na Feirme’s ‘Know your Neighbour’ weekend, which was attended by Mayor of Galway city Cllr Declan McDonnell in the Salthill Hotel.

Macra na Feirme’s ‘Know your Neighbour’ weekend was launched nationally by President Mary McAleese on June 20 and takes place this coming weekend July 11 and 12. Its aim is to get people to organise events in their communities where they can invite their neighbours to promote good neighbourliness, tighter bonds of community, friendship, and support.

“The work COPE Galway does is with people who tend to be socially isolated. Our survey shows that communities are not as strong as they were, and we are committed to developing a stronger sense of neighbourliness in our community to combat the very isolation which people we support face,” said Fintan Maher of COPE Galway, “We are delighted to support Macra na Feirme and their ‘Know your Neighbour’ weekend in Galway. It is a great project for individuals, families, groups, and communities to get involved in to get to know the people that live on their road or street, in their estate or apartment complex”

The COPE Galway online questionnaire asked 11 questions about people’s knowledge of their neighbours in addition to three demographic questions about the participant themselves. To date 160 respondents have completed the survey.

“On the face of it, these results confirm what we thought and what the anecdotal evidence was showing. Communities are becoming less and less integrated and people are losing contact with their neighbours,” said Maher “These results reinforce for us the importance of Macra’s ‘Know your Neighbour’ weekend that we are launching in Galway today. As an organisation we are working hard to build stronger links with other groups and organisation in our community. We are also challenging individuals and groups to reach out and get to know each other and help strengthen our communities”

COPE Galway, in conjunction with Macra na Feirme Galway, is hosting a tea morning at its COPE Galway Sonas Day centre in Walter Macken Place, Mervue, this coming Saturday from 11am to 1pm. Members of the public who would like to participate in the ‘Know your Neighbour’ weekend by organising an event can get a organisers pack by visiting www.knowyourneighbour.ie or calling 01 4268910.

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